Spoiler warning! I’m going to do my best to review this book without spoiling major plot points from The Queer Principles of Kit Webb or this book, but if you want to remain fully unspoiled, you’d probably want to skip this review until you’ve actually read the book. Which you should (read the book, I mean), it’s absolutely marvellous.
Marian Hayes, believed to be the Duchess of Clare until the truth about her husband’s first marriage comes out, is on the run. The Duke of Clare was critically injured during a highway robbery, and Marian is not going to stay behind at the duke’s estate to wait for the loathsome man to actually die, nor to be asked intrusive questions about the incident where the duke ended up with a bullet in his gut. Unfortunately, Marian doesn’t have a lot of people to turn to in her hour of need, and so ends up fleeing her husband’s deathbed aided by none other than the man who revealed the truth about the duke’s bigamy in the first place – Robert “Rob” Brooks, scoundrel, con artist, former highwayman and currently Marian’s (not exactly unwilling) kidnapping victim.
Rob has been on the wrong side of the law for most of his life, and what was supposed to be a rather simple blackmailing plot turned into a months-long correspondence with his blackmailing victim. It also involved her tailing him through the seedier side of London during various nighttime jaunts, and culminated in her drugging him and leaving him tied to a bed just as he was about to assist his former best friend and Marian’s sort of stepson-in-law rob the Duke of Clare. So when she shows up in the rooms she rented to keep him captive (he managed to get out of her rather inept knots without too much trouble), covered almost head to toe in blood, utterly furious and infuriatingly enchanting, what’s a charming rogue like Rob supposed to do? Leave her to fend for herself?